WEFTEC hopes for record setting crowd in New Orleans
SEPTEMBER 2014 — The Water Environment Federation’s annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC), is the largest conference of its kind in the United States and is set to kickoff Sunday, September 28. This year, New Orleans will be bustling with more than 22,000 water quality professionals from around the world. The conference and technical sessions aim to provide the best water quality education and training available in our industry.
Among these educational benefits, attendees will gain an intimate outlook on the latest practices, solutions and regulations in water and wastewater technology; it will provide a chance for attendees to design their own learning path; and it serves as an opportunity to build upon continuing education credits.
“WEFTEC brings new, cutting edge technology to the spotlight,” said Mike Gardner, Vice President of Garney. “For Owners, WEFTEC can be a solution to their problems by searching out new technology and speaking one-on-one with industry professionals.”
The exhibit hall will feature the most innovative technology in the marketplace and is a major draw in WEFTEC’s large-scale crowd. The exhibit hall will have nearly 1,100 exhibitors and is free of charge to attendees. It aims to foster an unparalleled environment for industry peer networking.“I personally find gain in the exhibit hall by putting a face to a name and working with manufacturers to discover new technology and solutions,” Gardner said.
Registration is still open with the conference running September 28 – October 1. Explore more about WEFTEC or register here.
Attending WEFTEC? Be sure to stop by booth #2965 and visit the Garney team to learn how we may be able to help with your future project and for your chance to win an iPod!
Garney conquers energy efficient facility in Midwest City
SEPTEMBER 2014 — Several years ago, public officials of Midwest City, Oklahoma, recognized that the previous treatment plant upgrades to their Pollution Control Facility were nearing the end of their life expectancy. Besides the need to maintain a functioning plant that would allow compliance with current and future DEQ permitted discharge limits, Midwest City also desired to build an environmentally friendly and cost effective facility.
The existing 10 MGD plant was originally built in 1963 with the most recent renovation in 1989. In recent years, key components of the facility began breaking down and replacement parts were becoming extremely hard to find. Thus, Garney was selected to provide new plant upgrades that offered advanced technologies to give the City the energy efficiency that they desired while also improving their effluent quality.
The moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) process was the first of its kind that DEQ approved for use in a municipal wastewater treatment plant in Oklahoma. The technology consists of a large treatment tank subdivided into six reactor zones and two treatment trains. Three high speed turbo blowers are the workhorses of the MBBR system. This blower technology has only been on the market for eight years and borrows heavily from NASA jet turbine engineering. The low amount of friction during operation, the turbine design, and magnetic induction motor combine to make these units some of the most efficient blowers on the market while also having one of the lowest maintenance costs.
A new ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system was also installed by Garney to help lower the City’s operation and maintenance cost. A new three channel, 12-bank system was installed and brought online in May 2014. This new system eliminated the hazardous chemicals that had to be stored and used in the old disinfection process. The new system requires only periodic cleaning and inspection of the UV bulbs in order to operate efficiently. The performance of the new system has exceeded expectations and Midwest City officials are pleased with their new equipment.
Garney is also responsible for a new 35,000 square foot compost facility, which will ultimately produce an organic material that can be used by the general public or by Midwest City to improve their local parks and recreation facilities.
As with most facility projects that Garney encounters, all of the work has been intensively scheduled to not interfere with the plant’s daily treatment activities. The entire project is on schedule to be complete in early 2015.
Monumental design-build project underway in Colorado
JULY 2014 — Construction of the Northern Treatment Plant, responsible for serving 300,000 customers across five Colorado metropolitan cities, is in full swing. Garney Construction, in partnership with Metro Wastewater Reclamation District and CH2M Hill, is delivering one of the largest design-build wastewater treatment facilities in the United States. Communities and residents of Aurora, Brighton, Thornton, Commerce City and Denver will all benefit upon completion of the wastewater treatment plant. These residents, businesses and communities are among 1.7 million served by Metro Wastewater Reclamation District in the Denver metropolis as well as the northern part of Colorado.
For this $254 million contract, our team has completed 360,000 man-hours and anticipates executing 730,000 man-hours by August 2016 when the project is set to be complete. At present, 350 construction workers are on site daily in an effort to construct this 24 MGD plant, with a build out to 60 MGD, in under four years.
Features of the 100-acre project site in Brighton, Colorado, include 36 structures, 24 miles of yard piping with nearly 3,000 valves to date, and 14 miles of interior piping. Since the inception of the project, crews have placed 46,000 CY of concrete, amounting to roughly 3,800 CY of concrete per month. While these numbers mark great magnitude, Garney has been able to accomplish this all with no lost time accidents on the project.
A treatment plant project of this scale is historical for Garney. It would not be possible without the work of Garney’s 20 crews in addition to the partnerships of our design-build team members. Garney has been working in the Colorado market since 1978, which has afforded us with the opportunity of building a six-year relationship with Metro Wastewater Reclamation District and a 15-year relationship with CH2M Hill in the region.
Theo Castellano returns from active duty
JULY 2014 — Employee-owners are elated to share in Theo Castellano’s Garney homecoming. Theo returns home after being deployed to Afghanistan in May of 2013. While overseas, Theo monitored Corps of Engineer infrastructure projects for the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police. He traveled all over the Eastern region, near the Pakistan border, mainly in the provinces of Kunar, Laghman and Nangarhar.
In October of 2013, Theo was medically evacuated after a combat stress/fatigue incident due to a mortar attack. He spent seven months recovering from his injury in a medical unit at Fort Gordon, Georgia. Theo is fully recovered and started back in Garney’s Nashville office on June 2.
The Winter Garden office, where Theo was based when he initially joined Garney, celebrated Theo’s return on May 23. During this small reception, Theo presented Tim Behler, Vice President, with a U.S. flag that was flown over Afghanistan. Theo has served as a Project Engineer at Garney since 2012.
Golfing for a cure
JULY 2014 — The Tee Off for Kids with Cancer Golf Tournament, hosted by the Shining Stars Foundation, was held June 6 on the Front Range of Colorado. Garney employee-owners Alex Engelbert, Joel Heimbuck, Michael Huff, and Nick Campbell were among the golfers at Colorado National Golf Club in Erie, Colorado. Golfers spent the day enjoying scramble play, followed by lunch and awards.
All proceeds from the 10th annual golf tournament benefited the foundation. This organization provides aid to children and their families who are braving cancer or a life threatening illness. The program aims to transform their lives through year-round recreational and social programs. The foundation is currently the only non-profit in Colorado and one of few nationally, which provides long-term, year-round care for the children at any stage in their cancer battle, including treatment, relapse or remission. Activities encouraged throughout the program include skiing, snowboarding, outdoor education, adventure sports, music, cultural and community events, and animal-based therapy.
Explore more information about how you can help the Shining Stars Foundation here.
WIFIA passes and redefines water infrastructure funding
JULY 2014 — The Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) was recently signed by President Obama. Included in the new legislation was a five-year pilot program for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA).
The new policy of WIFIA, administered by the EPA under WRRDA, will offer low-interest loans and loan guarantees to public-sector entities for water infrastructure projects. This is a crucial step in funding repairs or rehabilitations to revive the nation’s aging water and wastewater facilities and systems without the need for State Revolving Funds.
Eligible projects must cost at least $20 million, or $5 million for communities serving no more than 25,000. Additional terms to the policy require loans to be repaid within 35 years and limits WIFIA support of a project to 49% of the project cost. This encompasses a general limit of 80% for all federal assistance in any project and entails that tax-exempt debt not be used to pay the non-federal share of the project cost.
The American Water Works Association (AWWA) has been an integral player in paving the way for WIFIA throughout the entire legislative process. Currently, AWWA is encouraging House and Senate support to amend the policy and lift the 49% project cost limit, in addition to allowing the use of tax-exempt bonds. While not all terms sought out by AWWA were initially implemented, this pilot program will significantly change our nation’s water infrastructure needs in the coming years.
More information on WIFIA and its impending impact are highlighted here.
Garney Wins EDC Cornerstone Award
MAY 2014 — Garney Construction was recognized with the KC BEST Award: Small Company given by the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Kansas City. The Cornerstone Awards event was held on May 21, 2014, at Union Station with many alumni finalists, city officials and key business leaders in attendance. Tony Kempf, Vice President, was on hand to accept the award on Garney’s behalf. At left, Tony is pictured with Mayor Sly James and leadership from the EDC staff.
The annual Cornerstone Awards were established by the EDC to recognize companies and organizations that contribute to the growth of Kansas City’s economy. New construction projects, capital investments and jobs created by the award recipients represent the growth and stability of Kansas City, Missouri’s economy. Award categories include Residential, Public Projects, Community Development, Commercial Retail, Commercial Industrial, Commercial Office, Redevelopment, Special Recognition, LaunchKC, KC BEST, and Energy.
In the process of expanding and updating their headquarters office building in Kansas City’s Northland, Garney also expanded its employee size and created new jobs. This caught the attention of the EDC. Garney is honored to have received this award while working in unison with the EDC on the expansion project.
The EDC was established in 1987 as a non-profit agency to serve as Kansas City, Missouri’s link to growth, business and the economic development community. The EDC works with many companies and non-profit organizations in order to maintain a local identity and ensure a vibrant and self-sustaining economy.
Watch Garney’s EDC Cornerstone Award video here.
Boys & Girls Clubs “Kids Night Out”
MARCH 2014 — In support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Garney employee-owners recently attended the 2014 Kids Night Out featuring Academy Award Winning Actor, Al Pacino. This annual event, presented by GEHA the second-largest provider of national health and dental plans serving federal employees, retirees and their families, is pivotal in covering annual operating expenses for the Clubs.
Garney’s employee-owners enjoyed a keynote from Pacino, in addition to a live and silent auction, cocktails and dinner. The event, held on March 28 in parallel with National Boys & Girls Club Week, raised funds to support the annual operating budget of five Kansas City Club locations serving nearly 1,000 youth each day.
“I came away from the event knowing there are still a lot of kids out there that need our help and this is a great organization to support.” – Angela Kearney, Employee-Owner Since 2007
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kanas City strives to support kids, ages 5-18, develop the skills, values and self-esteem they need to reach their greatest dreams. Explore more about how you can get involved with a Club in your area here.
WIFIA paves way for aging water infrastructure
MARCH 2014 — Aging water infrastructure and associated building systems are on the rise; and as a result, have longstanding impacts on the treatment of water imperative to our quality of life. The American Water Works Association (AWWA), in conjunction with likeminded organizations are eager to advance repairs and rehabilitations by lowering the cost of investments for infrastructure projects. The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority (WIFIA) concept would aim to do just that.
While ensuring a streamlined approach to financing, WIFIA would grant funds from the US Treasury at long-term Treasury rates. Assistance would be offered in the form of low interest loans. The WIFIA concept would be modeled after the success from the transportation industry with TIFIA and would strive to increase the level of investment in water and wastewater infrastructure.
Currently, the success of WIFIA remains in the hands of those at Capitol Hill with major support from AWWA and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF).
As many projects often lack aid from State Revolving Funds, WIFIA would offer a drastic change in water infrastructure for communities around the nation. Learn more details about AWWA’s stance on WIFIA and the capability of its tremendous impact here.
Garney wins NUCA safety award
MARCH 2014 — On March 3, Garney received the award as the overall winner for the prestigious 2013 National Utility Contractor Association (NUCA) William H. Feather Safety Award. Of the six different categories broken down by man hours and presented with awards, Garney received the Overall Winner category defined as exceeding one million man hours. This honor recognizes Garney for making the commitment to safety their number one priority.
The award was established in 1978, in honor of William H. Feather, one of the founding chairmen of NUCA’s Safety Committee. The award is separated into six categories based upon the total man hours worked for each construction firm. NUCA also takes into consideration the construction firm’s Experience Modification Rate (EMR), incidence rates, safety statements, and safety program implementation. Garney has consistently been far below the industry average for EMR – a remarkable safety achievement in the utility construction industry.
Safety is a core value and an integral part of Garney’s culture. Garney’s Health & Safety Program provides their employee-owners with the tools, knowledge and resources needed to safely accomplish their work as well as protect clients, subcontractors and the general public.
Prior to the start of all projects, a Job Specific Safety Analysis is prepared to address the hazards and risks of each individual project. A Pre-Job Safety Conference is held with management and key crew leaders to plan an approach to addressing these risks. Every Garney employee-owner is required to adhere to the company’s safety guidelines. From the early planning stages of a project through completion, Garney is committed to being a safety leader in the construction industry.